Mark Teixeira is back in the lineup after last night’s hit by pitch, Derek Jeter is getting a routine day off, and Jose Bautista is out of the Blue Jays lineup with a mild hamstring injury. Apparently Toronto is hoping to have Bautista back soon, but have to believe this could keep him out for the entire three-game series. Not a bad break for the Yankees.
If you’re looking for bigger-picture news, it might be this: Manny Banuelos has been placed on the Double-A disabled list, and according to Jorge Castillo, it’s because of a blister problem. The Yankees have eased Banuelos into his first season back from Tommy John surgery because they want him to have some innings left at the end of the season in case he becomes a call-up option. Blisters aren’t a huge deal as long as they don’t become a recurring problem.
It’s significant because the Yankees are obviously on the lookout for addition rotation support. Vidal Nuno has struggled, David Phelps has been a bit inconsistent, and it’s worth remembering that Chase Whitley has never thrown more than 91 innings in a season, and between Triple-A and the big leagues, he’s already up to 65 this year. The Yankees aren’t likely to say exactly how many innings Whitley can pitch this season, but it seems safe to say that the cutoff is well short of 150.
At six innings per start, Whitley will reach his career high after five more starts. Even if he goes just five innings per starts, that’s still just six starts before he’s thrown more than in any other season. That means, by the end of July he’ll be into uncharted territory in terms of his workload.
Maybe CC Sabathia can get back in time to upgrade the Nuno spot, and Michael Pineda can get back in time to sub in for Whitley before his innings get too high. But that’s counting on two guys who haven’t pitched in a long, long time. It would be helpful if a guy like Banuelos — or Shane Greene, or Bryan Mitchell, or even Nik Turley who got into a GCL game this weekend — could take on a few rotation innings. Have to get those guys healthy and productive, though, before they become realistic alternatives.
Associated Press photo